Energy Institute sets science-based targets to reach net-zero emissions

EI is aiming to reach net-zero “well before” 2050

EI, the global professional body for the energy sector, has set the net-zero target for its central operations, including its London head office and staff business travel. The EI has benchmarked 2019 emissions levels, which totalled 358 tonnes, of which 85% were attributable to business travel.

As such, the EI has claimed it will not use carbon offsets for its emissions reduction strategy.

EI is aiming to reach net-zero “well before” 2050, and has committed to a reduction in emissions of 26.2% by 2025, moving to 47.9% by 2030 and 67.9% by 2035.

EI President Steve Holliday FREng FEI said: “The climate emergency demands changes in behaviour across the board – from governments, businesses and societies. The EI is resolved to end its own impact on the climate and is joining a growing number of organisations on an ambitious but managed journey to net zero. We do not yet have all of the answers, but I hope our members, partners and customers will be inspired to follow.

“The current pandemic has wreaked personal and economic tragedy. But it could yet lead to something positive too, if we’re smart with how we emerge from it. We must not squander this opportunity to rebuild our economies in a more sustainable way that averts future shocks to our way of life.”

Resilience focus

The announcement comes as the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) calls on the UK Government to implement measures that enables energy networks and utility companies, amongst other key infrastructure sectors, to set long-term strategies to protect against future climate shocks.

The NIC’s new report framework is designed to help infrastructure sectors plan for future climate sectors. The NIC notes that future proofing existing and planned infrastructure could spur job growth as part of a green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. However, it warns that “the past is not always the best guide to the future” and has called for more proactive approaches to resiliency.

EI’s chief executive Louise Kingham OBE FEI said: “These science-based targets are a road map on the way to eliminating well before 2050 the impact of our own operations on the climate.

“This won’t be easy for any organisation but the experience of COVID-19 is transforming the net-zero equation. Technology is enabling the EI to operate as reliably as ever, extending access to energy expertise, increasing our reach and relevance to many more than before. With all things digital and remote being the new normal, the technology has challenged us to go faster.

“I expect this new norm to be sustained. Will we meet again at large conferences and other events? I believe so, as we are social beings at our core, but I think it will take time and the reasons for doing so might have changed. Discontinuity has challenged us all. But it has also inspired us to innovate, to change our mindset, and to live life better. I think we must all build on those improvements going forward for the good it will create.”

Matt Mace

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie